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Anne Thornton Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Anne Thornton In her "In the Kitchen" Food Network cooking series, Dessert First With Anne Thornton, expert pastry chef Anne Thornton shares indulgent recipes for tantalizing and tasty sweet treats. From fresh pie crust and creamy ice cream cake to flaky pastries and make-ahead tarts, Anne demystifies and simplifies the sweet world of pastry and dessert. While sprucing up old-fashioned favorites like apple turnovers and pecan pie, Anne teaches viewers the keys to no-fear baking proving any home cook can create show-stopping desserts. Whether she's planning a dinner party for friends or whipping up a quick weeknight meal, Anne always thinks about Dessert First.

I had a chance to speak with Anne Thornton about food, dessert, and her new television show.

Tell me a little about the show.

Anne Thornton:
It's the only in the kitchen dessert show, so people are not only going to see these beautiful desserts but they are going to learn how to actually make them. They'll see all these tips and trips to make these fabulous desserts with this "wow" factor that don't require a lot of work. We go from the really simple desserts to more extravagant, but you'll see how simple it is to do all of them.

How long before you taped each episode of Dessert First With Anne Thornton did you have to spend beforehand putting together the recipes, deciding what you wanted to do for each show, and actually taping it?

Anne Thornton:
It didn't take that much time. I was in a really fortunate position, where it moved really quickly after I met with the people at Food Network and I did the pilot and they ordered the show. I only had a few weeks, about four weeks to put everything together. A lot of these recipes are recipes I've been working on for a long time. The fudge, for example, that you'll see in the Christmas show - the Fabulous Fudge - is my Grandmother's recipe. My salty banana pudding pie uses a caramel recipe I developed a long time ago as well. Most of the recipes are things that I have been working on or had an idea about already.

How did this show come about? Did you approach the Food Network or did they come to you with it?

Anne Thornton:
They actually approached me. They called me, which was wonderful, and I'd never been on camera so they asked me if I would do a screen test, they have to do a screen test. Then they introduced me to a production company to do a little pilot and then they ordered the series.

Everyone has a guilty pleasure food, one that they eat when no one else is around. What is yours?

Anne Thornton:
I have a no-shame policy when it comes to food. They pointed out to me that I eat everything twice on the show, that I'm the only person that tastes everything twice. They were like "Oh that's so cute, like a signature" and I was like "That wasn't on purpose." I was a little embarrassed. My ultimate gift, and my ultimate weakness, is my cooking ability. I love the taste of my own food.

There's really nothing that is a guilty pleasure, but I love ice cream. I eat ice cream almost every day, which you're probably not supposed to say, but literally a day is not complete for me without ice cream.

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